A scientific study proves that beauty is also measured by our sense of smell, and even by our hearing.
"Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder", says the ancient proverb. Well, here's the update: "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, as well as in his nose and ears." Agatha Groika, a doctoral student of psychology at Wroclaw University in Poland, claims that by hearing a person's voice, for example, we are able to get a sense of their dominance, their willingness to cooperate, their emotional state and even their physical size. There are studies that claim that smell can also be an indicator of fertility, dietary quality, and even of genetic compatibility and sexiness. In fact, smell allows us to identify members of our own species – probably an ability that developed and has been well preserved by evolution.
"Most people can describe the type of physical features which they are attracted to, but they find it difficult to say which smells or voices they like," says Groika. "It's that feeling when you feel attracted to someone, but you aren't too sure why." In the absence of signs of appearance, voices and smells were found as stimulating positive social response, a good impression, among subjects. In fact, these signs can be used to estimate the chances of a successful pairing. When all three parameters were examined – looks, voice and smell – they had a synergetic effect: an attractive look coupled with a good voice and a pleasant smell greatly increased the assessment by subjects of the person standing opposite them, to a much greater extent than the attraction they felt when presented with only one of the signs.
That said, preferences are given to change over time and as the relationship evolves. Looks and voice are important at the beginning of a relationship, and as they get closer smell plays a more important role. Men attribute a greater importance to the look of a woman's body, and over time they focus more on their partner's face. Women, by the way, place equal importance on the body and the face for every relationship.
Despite the unequivocal findings of the research, researchers stress that the definition of attraction is a very complicated matter. For instance, women clearly prefer "manly" men, but are flexible in the manner in which they arrive at the definition of "manly". They can prefer a less "manly" body if the man has a more "manly voice". Men and women both prefer facial features similar to their own, and smells which are different from their own.
So before your next date – don't pass on that shower. And if his eyes keep wandering to your cleavage – don't worry. Over time he will know what color your eyes are…